My Compassionate Boys

Written by Jenny Kanevsky

Creating a human life is a miracle. The tiny fingers and toes, the squeaky noises, the soft skin, the smells; I remember holding my sons when they were babies and marveling at their being.

And then, even greater miracles: they became people. They laughed, they walked, and they spoke. And as they grew, they developed strong feelings of empathy, love, compassion.

When my youngest was five, he spiked a fever that hung on for six days. His doctor wasn’t concerned, but I was worried. We were headed out of town in a few days, and sickness was not in the plan. I had a trip to get ready for; errands, writing, and laundry to do.

Then, three days before the trip, I also caught the mystery virus.  My son was already on the mend, coloring and taking a break from television. My older boy (eight at the time, and self-sufficient as always) was in his room playing with Legos.

I was not faring so well. I wanted to talk to my husband. I just needed to hear him say “I’m sorry sweetie.” And I’d cry a little, and then get through the rest of my day.

I called him at work. When I heard his voice, I burst into tears. It all hit me at once.

I was so tired.

My kids had seen me cry before, and had reacted with concern and compassion, but never like this. What happened next was amazing.

My five year old jumped up from his coloring. “Come quick! We have to cheer up Mom!” he yelled at his older brother.

“Here I come! What’s going on? Mom, c’mere, it’s okay.”

I was on the phone but so overwhelmed. I started crying even harder. I couldn’t speak. They raced to their rooms. One came back with his blankie; the other a pillow.

“Here Mom, it’s okay.” They hugged me.

“It’s okay, Mom, you’ll feel better soon.”

“I know, Mom, it’s hard to be sick.”

My husband told me he loved me. “Sounds like you’re in good hands dear,” he said, just before hanging up. “Feel better.”

My older son guided me to his room.

“Mom,” my wise boy said, “I’m going to play ‘It’s All Right To Cry’ and let’s just listen. It will help.”

He put in the CD of “Free To Be You And Me,” music I had listened to and loved at his age.

I sat on my son’s little twin bed, crying as he held me and Rosey Grier sang:

It’s alright to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you
It’s alright to cry
It might make you feel better.

I was overwhelmed by their kindness. These children were my miracles. I could never ask for more. I could never need more than this love. I felt blessed and loved and, yes, I felt better.

My boys were little miracles to me because they loved with such depth and compassion. I watched them give this to the world, and I felt their caring at home.

As parents, we give so much, especially to our babies. When they give back to us, that is the real miracle.


Jenny Kanevsky headshotJenny Kanevsky lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two sons, three cats, and one bearded dragon. She is the author of the mystery novel Chosen Quarry. Follow her on Twitter.

About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. Um, thank you Sandra ;). They can be little monsters too, they are regular kids after all, but they are sweet and caring. And, we have tried to be compassionate parents. I’ve been thinking about this post, I think the thing i did that helped my boys the most, that I didn’t get, was feeling validation. “I know you don’t want to take your pills” or “I know you feel sick, I’m sorry” and then there’s still not really anything I could do about it, but just: I feel what you’re feeling. I didn’t get that as a kid and i know how good it feels to have your feelings validated. Anyway, we’re doing our best.

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